We are endorsing VanValkenburg as a direct result of his bipartisan efforts with school safety legislation.
Delegate Schuyler VanValkenburg was first elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 2017. He won 52% of the vote to take the 72nd district seat. (Henrico).
VanValkenburg has no primary opponent, but this endorsement marks the launch of our special campaign to endorse candidates that work to bring Virginia together. Instead of looking at Virginia as two parties at war, the candidates we endorse have shown more of a focus to move Virginia forward – even if it means crossing party lines.
It was an easy decision for us to endorse VanValkenberg with our first endorsement of the 2019 season. VanValkenburg displayed his ability to operate with colleagues across the aisle while still holding onto his core principles in his first two years.
The top highlight for VanValkenburg comes from his work on the Select Committee for School Safety this year. That committee produced a bipartisan report that suggested several policy changes to directly address school safety.
While Del. VanValkenburg worked with colleagues across the aisle help create a safer environment for students and teachers, he also notes the shortfalls to fully achieving that goal due to the Republican leadership. The committee was instructed by Speaker Cox (R) to not discuss guns whatsoever. VanValkenberg and fellow Democrats stated that the General Assembly “cannot ignore the role of firearms in mass school shootings”.
They also called for specific legislation to help reduce the ease of access to weapons in homes of children in risky situations. Delegates VanValkenburg, Bourne, and Mullins proposed risk warrants in their minority report. A risk warrant involves a court order being issued to temporarily remove a weapon from the home of a child that is deemed a risk to harming themselves or others. Additionally, Democrats proposed harsher penalties for improper storage of firearms, or for failing to report a weapon has been lost or stolen.
VanValkenburg has shown up and performed for all of his constituents, exactly the way that representatives should operate – no matter the level. He has kept a level of transparency on social media with his legislation and voting record. He has been adamant for change with school counselors, putting a much needed focus on improving the mental health system within public schools.
We believe that VanValkenburg deserves another chance to represent his constituents in the state legislature.
We will be announcing more endorsements from both parties that we believe embody the characteristics that we have described. Endorsements will continue to roll out through November.